Austen Arrowheads 7 Stotfold Juniors 4 Under-13s Division Two A SPIRITED fight-back from Stotfold, who were at one point 6-1 down, added some respectability to the score-line as Austen threatened to romp to victory. Stotfold took the lead but first half g
Austen Arrowheads 7 Stotfold Juniors 4
Under-13s Division Two
A SPIRITED fight-back from Stotfold, who were at one point 6-1 down, added some respectability to the score-line as Austen threatened to romp to victory.
Stotfold took the lead but first half goals from Courtney, Kearse and two from Ahmed saw Austen go into the break 4-1 up.
Ahmed added two more after the break to make it 6-1 to Austen, but Stotfold recovered with three goals in 17 minutes to make it 6-4 and a nervy finish for Austen and a 62 minute strike from Thornton put the game beyond Stotfold's reach.
With Newport absent Mason-Soards volunteered to keep goal but he was picking the ball out of the net on 15 minutes as Stotfold scored with their first shot on target, the Austen defence failing to clear the ball from a right-wing throw.
Ahmed levelled the score on 20 minutes latching onto a through ball from Marshall and slotting the ball low past the Stotfold keeper's right.
Stotfold came close as Austen failed to clear the ball from the box but Mason-Soards did well to scramble across goal and scoop the ball clear in mid-air, just preventing it from crossing the line.
Courtney eased Austen ahead on 26 minutes, poking the ball into the net from close range from an Ahmed corner as Austen began to dominate the game.
Austen's dominance resulted in two more goals before the break. Courtney lofted a perfect ball into the path of Ahmed who coolly took the ball past the keeper and passed it into the net.
On the stroke of half-time Kearse latched onto a loose ball and smashed the ball into the top right corner of the net with a composed finish.
Two minutes after the restart Kearse won the ball in midfield and fed Ahmed who slipped the ball past the advancing Stotfold 'keeper and into the net.
Ahmed grabbed his fourth to put Austen 6-1 up after latching onto a Courtney through ball and smashing the ball high past the keeper's left
Ahmed's forth goal was to prove costly as he injured himself in the process of scoring and would take no further part in the match which seemed to give Stotfold hope as they began a spirited fight-back.
A right-wing Stotfold shot-come-cross bounced into the box and embarrassingly through Mason-Soards' legs and into the net.
Wheeler swapped places with Mason-Soards in the Austen goal, but he faired no better with a 55 minute Stotfold free-kick that the Austen defence failed to deal with, and the ball found its way into the net past a static Wheeler.
A rejuvenated Stotfold closed the gap to 6-4 with a superb 61st minute strike across goal that found the back of the net from the right wing.
Some good work by Thompson fed the ball to Thornton in the box and he shimmied past a defender and smashed the ball into the top right corner to put the game beyond Stotfold's reach with only eight minutes to play.
Austen did not defend well in this game and the absence of Newport in goal certainly attributed to this.
That said Bannister and Lobjoit both had good games, as too did Courtney and Thornton in midfield, the latter worked hard for the whole match and was rewarded with a rare goal.
Hepburn was awarded man-of-the-match with a spirited performance and having the determination to continue after the ball was smashed into his face.
Austen: Mason Soards, Wheeler, Lobjoit, Coventry, Bannister, Thornton, Courtney, Marshall, Hepburn, Adagun, Ahmed. Subs: Thompson, Kearse, Hepburn.